The Norwegian went out with broken front-left suspension running over what now appears to have been an exposed hole in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC, rather than a rock.
“[Thierry] Neuville hit it first and he was out, but he wasn’t there slowing anybody down,” Solberg explained. “There was a hole on the line and as the cars went through the hole was getting bigger and bigger.”
He continued: “With the rain, the road had been washed away and the car was being pulled into this line. The [impact] broke one bolt and we’re out. Chris [Patterson, co-driver] went back and stood near the place to tell everybody else to keep out. If he hadn’t done this, for sure, they would all have been in there. I don’t know what to say, it’s just so bad.”
Following his podium finish on Wales Rally GB in September, the 2003 world champion has endured a tough run by failing to go the distance in France, Italy and now Spain. His exit means the battle for third place in the WRC standings will be between Jari-Matti Latvala and current event leader Mads Ostberg.